By Marissa Tejada Benekos
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Athens
Over one hundred companies focused on olive oil and edible olive production in Greece gathered at the Eleotechnia Mediterranean Exhibition of Olive and Olive Oil in Athens. Vendors showcased their latest olive oil standardization equipment, oil processing, bottling and packaging machinery as well as new olive oil products. Now in its fourth year, the event aimed to exhibit the most innovative developments in the Greek olive oil industry, the third largest olive oil producing country in the world.
“The conference is a meeting point for countries in the Mid East and in the Balkan Countries. We are the only one so far to organize this type of collaboration in this part of the world for the olive oil and olive oil culture industry,” said trade show organizer, George Kouvelis of Compass Expo Limited.
Kouvelis is also is behind a new olive oil line he announced at Eleotechnia called puretaste.gr. He said that besides his own efforts to market his olive oil brand, approximately one million other Greeks are working in the olive oil industry in some way. “Olive oil is a significant part of our national economy, our pride and our culture.”
Some new products presented at this year’s event included:
A New Olive Net
Violagro said their Olive Net is the first product of its kind to effectively catch olives during harvest as they drop from trees.
“We were looking to buy one like it but couldn’t find one so we invented it ourselves,” said Violetta Zagoraiou who patented her invention. “Its innovation is the easy installation. It has a hole in the center and an opening along the front part. It hugs the trunk of the olive tree and covers all the ground around it so there is no loss of crop.”
Made of lightweight flexible and durable material, Zagoraiou said she came up with the idea after she observed her husband’s difficulty in spreading olive nets during harvest season at the family’s olive groves.
“The old way is to fumble with your net and put rocks to keep it down on the sides. With the Olive Net all you need is two minutes to set it up.”
Made from non-toxic materials, the net also contains UV stabilizer for longevity. Zagoraiou says the net has another key feature in that it does not turn at its ends.
With more than 52 years in the business of olive oil machinery, the Callis company presented its largest centrifugal machine yet.
“We’re promoting our decanter type L140, which is the largest centrifugal machine of its kind, featuring a capacity of four tons of olives per hour,” said Nikos Callis, whose father started the company when he manufactured his first hydraulic press for olive oil production. “It’s an important machine in the modern olive oil industry, used to separate different weighted materials in high capacities.”
Hundreds of oil mills throughout the world operate with Callis decanters and other Callis machinery.
“We supply the right machinery from the start to the finish in olive oil production. We know our work and are proud to say our products are 100 percent made right here in Greece.”
This article was last updated May 12, 2011 - 10:31 AM (GMT-4)